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Henrik Sedin scores winner for 999th career point as Canucks down Predators 1-0

Sedin, Miller lead Canucks over Predators

VANCOUVER — Henrik Sedin wasn’t interested in taking too much credit for the 999th point of his NHL career.

The Vancouver captain swatted a rebound off the end boards in the third period that deflected in off Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne as the Canucks downed the Predators 1-0 on Tuesday.

“I just managed to get kind of a backhand â€” I don’t know what it was really,” Sedin said after snapping an eight-game goal drought. “Rinne came back hard, it hit his pads and went it.”

Luca Sbisa’s initial shot off the rush missed the net and caromed right to the 36-year-old Swede, who now sits just one point short of 1,000 after bagging his 10th goal of the season with 7:32 left in regulation.

“I just tried to put it on net … if Hank doesn’t bury that rebound I’d be mad at myself for missing the net,” said Sbisa, before adding with a grin: “But we’ll say I put it on the side on purpose.”

Ryan Miller made 30 saves for his second shutout of the campaign and the 38th of his career as Vancouver (21-19-6) snapped a four-game losing streak that included three straight defeats where the Canucks earned a point (0-1-3). The victory was also the 353rd of Miller’s career, moving him into a tie with Evgeni Nabokov for 20th all-time.

“It is just kind of a number in a way,” said Miller. “But my intention is to have fun and savour these moments.”

Rinne stopped 25 shots for Nashville (20-17-7), which saw its three-game winning streak snapped.

The Predators were left fuming after having a goal disallowed with 4:50 left in the first period when Miller was pressured by two Predators behind the Vancouver net. Derek Grant eventually pushed the puck over the line with Miller swimming in the crease after a prolonged scramble that ended with the referee emphatically signalling a goal.

But with Miller seething in the belief that he had frozen the puck and been interfered with, the call on the ice was eventually changed to no goal. And after a lengthy video review it was announced the official meant to blow his whistle before the puck crossed line, denying Grant his first NHL goal.

“I don’t understand it all myself,” said Predators head coach Peter Laviolette. “I don’t understand any explanation I got.

“It’s frustrating. We’re in a playoff battle. We need every point so we’re walking away with none tonight.”

With the teams playing a tight game through 20 minutes, Alexander Edler forced a nice blocker save out of Rinne midway through the second before Miller stopped James Neal at the other end.

Daniel Sedin fired wide on a 2-on-1 after taking a feed from Henrik Sedin with six minutes left in the second, and Rinne stopped Loui Eriksson moments later right in front off another feed from Henrik.

Vancouver broke in on a 4-on-2 rush late in the period, but Alexandre Burrows’s shot hit linemate Bo Hovat in front, and Troy Stecher hit the crossbar on the follow up.

“For any fan it would be a boring game to watch,” said Predators centre Ryan Johansen. “I thought they did a good job playing really tight defence and made it tough for us.

“When we did get a few chances Miller played really well for them. That’s a game we felt should have at least gone to overtime.”

Minus both Roman Josi and P.K. Subban because of upper-body injuries, the Predators were dealt another blow on defence when Petter Granberg was also placed on injured reserve. The club claimed Brad Hunt on waivers from St. Louis, but he didn’t suit up Tuesday, meaning that Alexandre Carrier made his NHL debut.

Eriksson rang a shot off the crossbar for Vancouver inside the game’s first two minutes after an early Nashville flurry, while Miller made a nice pad stop on Calle Jarnkrok midway through the period before the disallowed goal sent the teams to the locker-room scoreless.

“This is not a league where you can give up three, four goals and win games,” said Henrik Sedin. “That was a long time ago. For us to get back in the playoff race, we knew we needed to tighten up defensively.”

Notes: Subban practised Monday and took Tuesday’s morning skate, but missed his 15th straight game. … Canucks defenceman Ben Hutton will be out up to six weeks with a broken hand suffered Jan. 6 against Calgary.

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Joshua Clipperton, The Canadian Press